|Chief Minister of Saint Vincent|
25 May 1961 - 16 March 1967
|Leader of the People's Political Party|
|Born||23 May 1908|
Kingstown, British Windward Islands (present day Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
|Died||14 March 1991 (aged 82)|
Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
|Political party||People's Political Party |
Eighth Army of Liberation (1951–1952)
Ebenezer Theodore Joshua (23 May 1908 – 14 March 1991) was a Vincentian politician and the first chief minister of Saint Vincent from 1961 to 1967. He was the Leader of the Legislative Council from 1956 to 1961.
Joshua was born in Kingstown, Saint Vincent, British Windward Islands. As a young man in the 1920s, he went to work on the nearby island of Trinidad. There he became involved in trade unionism with Buzz Butler, and was an official of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union from 1938 until 1950, when he tried unsuccessfully to be elected to the Trinidad legislature. Returning to Saint Vincent, Joshua entered politics, and was elected to the island's assembly in 1951 as a member of the Eighth Army of Liberation. In 1952 he and his wife Ivy Joshua founded the People's Political Party (PPP) as the political arm of the Federated Industrial Allied Workers Union (FIAWU), a trade union organization aimed at representing agricultural and shipyard workers. The party was staunchly against colonialism and the plantocracy.
In 1957, Ebenezer and Ivy became the first married couple to be elected to a parliament of the British West Indies. In 1961, upon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gaining increased autonomy, Joshua became chief minister. His PPP saw continued success in subsequent elections. Joshua supported the unsuccessful Federation of the West Indies. In 1962 Joshua discontinued government subsidies for the sugar growers, leading the Mt Bentinck Sugar Cane Factory to close after years of financial mismanagement.
Joshua then travelled to Barbados for a regional meeting on agricultural problems; a misunderstanding of this sequence of events and Vincentian history by American musician Eric von Schmidt became the basis for the song "Joshua Gone Barbados". In 1967 the PPP lost their parliamentary majority and Joshua was succeeded by Milton Cato, leader of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party. Joshua remained in parliament, but the PPP began to decline as the New Democratic Party emerged as political competition. In 1979 the PPP lost all parliamentary representation. Joshua resigned as party leader in 1980, and the party was dissolved in 1984.
In 1980, Joshua became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He served for a time in the presidency of the LDS Church's Kingstown Branch, then the only congregation of the church in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.